I’ve never been a veggie burger kind of girl. Anytime my vegetarian best friend ordered a veggie burger, a part of me died for her because I wanted her to experience the foodgasm from a juicy beef burger. But was it me who was missing out this whole time?
While I love traditional burgers in all their fat-dripping glory, veggie burgers don’t get the credit they deserve. Perhaps because some variations (some that I’ve tried) are dreadful. Dry, crumbly, flavorless, and not as satisfying as meat. They don’t have that protein you need between the carb-filled buns. Even worse, the kind of vegetarian burgers you order at a chain restaurant are filled with breadcrumbs, fake additives, and other suspicious soy ingredients. For those reasons, my tastier, bovine choices were always justified in my mind.
After becoming a #bugatarian, I set off to give the veggie burger a delicious and genuinely healthy update. And I’ll admit – I am a full on veggie burger supporter now! At least my version. They are completely grain and dairy free and full of protein and nutritional value from the beets, legumes, and mealworm flour. When forming the patties, I could not believe how substantial and meaty they were. Also, the color from the beets and beans gave it a similar pigment to ground beef which was so satisfying.
The key here is to impart as much flavor into the patty as possible. I achieved that through roasting the beets, caramelizing the onions to the max, and liberally adding in spices like cumin, chili powder, and paprika. Finishing with toppings like provolone cheese and avocado might just make you a mealworm burger pioneer! Hey, even Ikea is making a mealworm burger for their cafe menus.
Mealworm Veggie Burger
Grain-free vegetarian burger patties made with mealworm.
- 6 beets
- 1 white onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 can black beans drained
- 1/2 cup mealworm flour
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 tbsp cumin
Cut and cube beets
Roast beets at 350 degrees for 40 min
Dice the onion
Caramelize the onions in a pan on low for about 30 min, stirring frequently
Add in the garlic with the onions when there are 2 minutes left
In a food processor, combine beans, beets, onions, garlic. Pulse until beans and beets combine but not pulverized. Over-grinding will make for less textured burgers.
Transfer to a bowl
Add the mealworm, paprika, chili powder, and cumin
Add salt and pepper to taste
Combine everything and mix well
Refrigerate overnight so it can release moisture
Form patties and sear on both sides for 4-5 min